[COMMUNICATED] “Don’t worry Abba, it’s not good for your heart.” These were the words tenderly spoken by 21 year old Michal Yavrov to her father Rabbi Yehuda Yavrov just this week, as they noted that her wedding date was coming closer. It was hard not to feel just how drastically their lives had changed: Just a month ago, Michal had been an excited blushing bride, Yehuda had been head of a prestigious frum Israeli newspaper, and most importantly of all – Michal’s mother had been alive.
Mrs. Rivka Yavrov passed away after a heroic 12-year battle with cancer. During those 12 years she defied all odds by continuing to survive and care for her 9 children. It was with great joy that she was able to see her beloved daughter’s engagement. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and her fragile immune system, Mrs. Yavrov had to sit in the hallway outside the engagement party. Her daughter rushed out to her often to share her excitement. It was a bittersweet moment for all involved.
Last week, the Yavrov children stood, devastated, at the Har HaMenuchos cemetery in Jerusalem, weeping over the grave of their mother. Rabbi Yavrov recently had to leave his job as editor of a major religious newspaper, as he suffered major heart attacks and underwent surgery. With Rivka’s passing came more heart complications as he suffers, quite literally, from a broken heart. He is now extremely weak and unable to return to work, despite his family’s severe medical debt.
With all this in mind and more, one thing has become clear to Michal: She is on her own to make her upcoming wedding. Determined to find a job, the young bride went from shop door to shop door, inquiring to see if they were hiring. Due to the current lockdown, however, most businesses were closed. Jobs in general are scarce. Crestfallen, she arrived back home jobless.
A hachnasas kallah fund has been started to help Michal and her chassan Mordechai make a basic wedding and get started. Hachnasas kallah is a time-honored and essential mitzvah which takes on even more meaning in this tragic case. The fund has a letter of recommendation from Rav Gershon Edelstein. Donations are being urgently collected, as the wedding is just three weeks away.